Chloe Hooker and Yiota Cornelisse soak up some Caribbean vibes at a one-of-a-kind screening of a 90s classic, ‘Cool Runnings’ – on ice!
When the opportunity arose to go to a screening of a long-time favourite film of mine, Cool Runnings, I jumped at the chance (literally, running across the house to tell my housemate). Not only was it a Jamaican themed special pop-up event, it was actually held on an ice rink. It was the perfect occasion to get us in the mood for the winter season – with an added Caribbean twist. We arrived at Queens Ice and Bowl in Bayswater and joined the queue behind a group who were impressively dressed for the occasion. Upon spotting their colourful, retro, reggae-themed ski wear, we realised we were in for a fun night!
The downstairs ice skate counter was transformed into a Duppy Share Rum bar/Dub Jam Jerk BBQ and was accessorised with palm trees, Caribbean tunes and even a bath tub to practise our bobsled turns. The good vibes really hit us as soon as we walked in and put a smile on our faces. We were even offered bags of Sweet Coconut and Vanilla-Flavoured ProperCorn, and by this point we were definitely getting into the reggae spirit. We headed onto the ice rink to take our seats for the start of the film and collected our complimentary Hot Rum Punch on the way in, which was absolutely delicious and just what we needed to keep warm on the ice.
Just past the entrance to the ice rink, hanging on the wall, were the Jamaican bobsledding suits, which added a real air of authenticity to the atmosphere. Cosy blankets and hand warmers were even available to rent from a cute Bodo Schloss pop-up wooden hut. In hindsight, we wished we’d come better prepared like several of the other Cool Runnings enthusiasts, who had brought their own blankets to snuggle up in on the ice. The projector set up was impressive. However, the sound quality could have been improved as there was a little distortion at the start. The seating wasn’t the most comfortable either, but then again we were perched in a makeshift cinema on ice! This hardly tainted the experience though.
The event, organised by Press Play, had us all crying, laughing and clapping throughout the whole evening. We were blown away by the impressive attention to detail, which submerged us into the authentic Caribbean bobsleigh experience. VIP guests even had their drinks served in miniature bobsleighs. By the end of the experience we all shared a sense of Caribbean pride, regardless of our various origins.
Overall, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, and we are keeping our eyes peeled for more pop-up themed events to explore around London. Definitely an experience we would have been sorry to have missed!